Run Like a Local in the UK

Words and photos by United Kingdom Runner, Mark Sanders.


Grey, cold and raining, warm beer and a cup of tea. That’s typical UK, right? Partially. Contrary to popular belief, the weather can be warm, the beer is cold, but yes, we love a cup of tea! Winter does ‘feel’ like forever and just when you think spring has arrived, so do the April showers. But whether you enjoy the hot bright sunshine in summer, crunching the golden leaves in Autumn (Fall), enjoying the silence that only snow can bring in winter, or taking in the beauty of the spring blossom, every season can be enjoyed when you’re a runner here.

The UK offers something for every kind of runner. You can find yourself exploring cities or towns, country lanes, coastlines, and yes (everyone’s favorite) hills. There’s plenty of beautiful scenery, bags of history, and a whole new bunch of running friends! Here is a taster of what you can expect if you visit our little island over the next few months!

Summer Running in England

Colchester Castle Park
Lower park in Colchester Castle Park. Photo credit: Mark Sanders

July: Chase the Sun 5 &10k, Hyde Park, London

We have to include a London race right? The largest of four Royal Parks in the Centre of London, Hyde Park, was originally used by Henry Vlll as a hunting ground and is now home to all kinds of events from concerts to races. In July, you can enjoy the Chase the Sun 5k or 10k that starts from the bandstand and takes you on a loop around the beautiful park – it’s nice and flat, great for smashing that PB! If you’re thinking of visiting London to see the sights and would like to squeeze in a race, give this one (or the various others held throughout the year) a try.

Hyde Park
Hyde Park

August – Isle of Wight Half Marathon

A stone’s throw from the mainland (2 miles) sits the Isle of Wight. In March there is the Running Festival and in August a Half Marathon. Organized by Ryde Harriers Running Club, which has been operating since 1886, the race starts in Appley Park and consists of two laps close to the coastline which take you through the villages of Nettlestone and St Helens. With its white cliffs and rolling hills, it is a beautiful place to run, especially if hills and trails are your thing.

Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight

September – Great North Run

Now in it’s 38th year, some may remember the Great North Run as the race where Kara Goucher beat Paula Radcliffe in 2007. Along with the London Marathon, the Great North Run is one of the most recognized events here in the UK. Starting in the center of Newcastle in the Northeast of England, the route takes you out of the city center over the historic Tyne Bridge and east towards the coast in South Shields. As a major event it has coverage with the BBC so you could find yourself on camera, and if you’re lucky enough to be on the bridge at the right time, a couple of noisy visitors courtesy of the Royal Air Force Red Arrows!  

Starcrossed Lovers, Swan Potatoes, and a Run to Remember

Words and photos by Ben Osborn, creator of Totally Brain Dad.

In this edition of Route for Change with Totally Brain Dad, I bring you to Independence, IA – that’s I-O-W-A!


I was there to run the Believe 5K, a memorial race that honors my cousin Audrey Fitzgerald. Audrey died unexpectedly in 2008 at the age 19 from bacterial meningitis. She had an ever-present smile and exuded positivity. Her high school friends have been organizing the Believe Race for the last 9 years in her honor. Each May we gather to remember, celebrate her life and raise some money to benefit the community. You’ve probably been to an event like it in your town.

Independence is small river town of about 5,500 people. Its the county seat for Buchanan County. It’s a pretty special place. If you don’t believe me just ask my grandmother, she lives there.

One of the most notable features of the town is the Wapsipinicon River. Local legend holds that the river was named for a Native American couple, Wapsie and Pinicon. They were deeply in love, but it was a forbidden romance because they were from opposing tribes. They tried to elope to be together, but they were pursued and tragically drowned in the river during their attempted escape.

The other less harrowing theory is that Wapsipinicon is the anglicized version of the Ojibwe name for the river, Waabizipinikaan-ziibi. That means “river abundant in swan potatoes”

But what’s in a name? Heartbreaking romantic tragedy or swan potatoes. A river by any other name would be just as…. wet?

ANYHOOO…….After the Believe race, I used FASTZach to create a 4-mile route through town to give you a little taste of the place my mother grew up. It starts and ends at the Dairy Queen like pretty much every run should. Along the way, you’ll see the bustling traffic on Highway 150 and quiet small-town neighborhoods. There will be great views of the river and the historic mill where the farmers market now sets up shop.


You’ll see Main Street, including the storefront that used to house my grandparents’ painting and decorating business. You’ll see the first Presbyterian Church. You’ll pass the Caseys general store that is required to be in all Iowa towns and the Checkered Flag Bar, the site of my first legally purchased beer. You’ll see Veterans Park, the Riverwalk, the American Legion, the Buchanan County Courthouse and the Fire Station where my grandfather served as fire chief for almost three decades.


You’ll also pass a unique little establishment that aims to restore the reputation of Canada’s greatest rock band…..or maybe it is something about recycling….not 100% sure.


Now, this might all sound a bit mundane to some. I’m sure many folks could cruise through town on Highway 150 without giving it much thought, but for me, Independence has deep family memories. If you run this route, you’ll pass by the house where my grandparents raised 8 kids, welcomed 19 grandkids and more than a dozen great-grandkids. It’s a house with a lot of stories, endless belly laughs, and some solemn tears of shared heartache. Just south of the Dairy Queen across the River, you’ll find Mt Hope Cemetery. My great-grandparents and my grandfather, Charles Conklin lie there. And my cousin Audrey rests there as well. We like to believe they are all still with us. It is always good to come to Independence to remember and to celebrate family. Thanks for letting me share it with you.

I hope you #seemoreinyourmiles with those you love this summer. #Getoutandroute #RuntoRemember


Superior Running Routes in Duluth, MN

Words by Duluth runner Rebekka Stumme.

I did not grow up in Duluth, Minnesota, but I’ve lived here for longer than I have lived anywhere else in my life. I came to Duluth from a small-town farming county in south-central Minnesota to attend college. I still remember the first time I drove over Thompson Hill.  Below that hill, laid out in all of its breathtaking glory is the St. Louis River, the stunning Aerial Lift Bridge, and then Lake Superior. I was hooked.

35416014_10103121118186225_6124800136359968768_oWhile attending school at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, I ran track and field.  I was a sprinter in those days with the mentality that a mile was just “too far” to run. However, it was during my college years that I started to get tougher, to see the benefits of running farther and longer. I still thought that true distance runners were freaks.  

Then, one evening my views were challenged when our college team hosted a track meet for local high schools. On that night, I had the privilege of watching Kara Wheeler, later to become Kara Goucher run for the first time. She annihilated the field in every race that she ran. There something about her running that was fun to watch. She ran with a fierceness and a grit that gave the other runners the clear message that today would not be their day. I was impressed. I have followed her career since then, marveling at how a girl from Northern Minnesota has gone on to Olympic and international stardom. I’ve also totally changed how I view distance runners. Distance runners are freaks still, but now they are my freaks.  


Duluth, Minnesota is a port city built into a large hill on the western edge of the largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior. The lake is a large part of Duluth’s economy, Duluth’s identity, and surely is a central piece of many Duluthian’s lives. The beauty of Lake Superior cannot be overstated. On hot days, Duluthians flock to its icy waters for relief from heat and humidity. On cold days, the lake almost appears to evaporate into the air in an eerie scene from old movies.  

Distance running has a long history in Duluth. As you may know, Grandma’s Marathon began here during the “marathon boom” of the 1970’s. You may think that with the harshness of the northern Minnesota winters that outdoor distance running would be “too hard” or not worth it, but runners in northern Minnesota are a tough breed. We run in 20 below wind-chill, we run in snow storms, we run in the humidity and heat of the summer months, and we run straight up the many hills in town. Duluth runners are not and cannot be “fair weather” runners.

Running Routes in Duluth, MN

Below are some of my favorite runs in Duluth.


Lakewalk Path

One of my favorite go-to runs is quick and easy for both residents of Duluth, as well as visitors. The lakewalk path is a paved path that runs from the Aerial Lift Bridge that spans the canal and permits ships to enter into Duluth’s harbor and extends all the way to Brighton Beach on the eastern edge of the city. This path is partially constructed of boardwalk and pavement and then switches to pavement only from 21st Avenue east to Brighton Beach for a total of 7.7 miles. The lake walk runs along beautiful Lake Superior for a good portion of this lovely run. The best part, for local runners, is that the City of Duluth does an amazing job of keeping the Lakewalk clear and plowed during the winter months to ensure that it can be used year round.

Use this 4.5-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore the Lakewalk Path.


7 Bridges Road

A solid go-to run for me to build strength and stamina is one of the hilliest runs in Duluth. 7 Bridges Road can be found in the Lester Park neighborhood on the northeastern edge of Duluth.  This road has, you guessed it, 7 beautiful stone bridges that span Amity Creek and the Lester River. The road is very scenic and full of wildlife even though it is well traveled by walkers, runners, and bikers. The total distance from Superior Street to the top of the bluff (with a stunning view of the lake) is 4 miles and a 400-foot total elevation climb with several rolling hills along that 4-mile road.

Use this 4-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore 7 Bridges Road.


Hartley Park Trails

Hartley Park is a 660-acre park with forested hill and wetlands. Hartley has several hiking and biking trails that pass through gorgeous forests and provide amazing views of Lake Superior and the St. Louis River Valley. Hartley contains over 5 miles of trails that are well marked and designated for foot traffic and biking.

Use this 5-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore the Hartley Park Trails.


Superior Hiking Trail

The Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) extends from the Minnesota/Wisconsin border to the Canadian border. The SHT is ideal for those runners who really love to get out on the trails and escape the busy world. The SHT has multiple accessible entry points for easy access and flexibility. Whether you want to run a mile or 10 miles, there are beautiful sections of the SHT that will blow your socks off. The terrain can be challenging and it can test you. The views and beauty of this trail will make the tough run worth your while.

Use this 7-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore the Superior Hiking Trail.


The Northshore/Grandma’s Marathon Course

Grandma’s Marathon has a long and storied history. The marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners had a hair-brained idea – to run from the city of Two Harbors to Duluth.  The race and the marathon craze took over and Grandma’s Marathon is still going strong. The race is beautiful and flat. If you’re chasing that Boston Qualifier, then this race is worth checking out. The only “hill” is called Lemon Drop Hill near the beginning of Interstate 35 and really isn’t much of a hill compared with 7 Bridges or the Newton Hills in Boston. This course is fast! Plus, Duluth is the home of the great runner, Kara Goucher, who also owns the course record for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon run on the same date.

Use this 50+ Mile out-and-back route created with the FASTZach App to explore the Northshore and Grandma’s Marathon course.

FASTZach Exploring Tour of Boulder

Boulder, Colorado is one of the most beautiful places in the United States. Located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder sits at 5,400ft above sea level and is the perfect place for outdoor activities of all types. Whether you are running, walking, biking, touring, or hiking, FASTZach has options for you – and Boulder is definitely your city for it all!

FASTZach a distance-based routing app that’ll be your guide and companion as you explore through healthy travel. This month, we’re highlighting the great running and walking options available in Boulder, Colorado and we’ve compiled a fantastic 4-mile route to help you explore!

Exploring Boulder Tour

Explore Boulder with this 4-mile walking tour featuring some of the best historic sites and popular attractions Boulder, CO has to offer. Get the route here!

A 4-mile tour of Boulder, CO created with FASTZach.
A 4-mile tour of Boulder, CO created with FASTZach.

Note: While turn by turn directions are available, sometimes the visual of a route is all someone might need. Beginning on Pearl Street you will head toward 16th and Pine to land upon the Mork & Mindy House. Dropping down 16th to Walnut and around to 14th you will cross over the Canyon Boulevard area. Follow 14th to Arapahoe – here you will be in the vicinity of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. As you cross the Boulder Creek you will be in the vicinity of the Andrews Arboretum and within steps to the University of Colorado and Folsom Field. Following University Avenue toward the mountains and heading North on 9th Street will cross you back over the Boulder Creek, into the Mapleton Hill District and back onto the Pearl Street Mall.

Please remember that FASTZach is a guide used to promote healthy movement and exploration. Always use caution and judgment as crossing intersections and navigating locations. Boulder has many sights to see, please do so carefully and respectfully.

Pearl Street Mall

The Pearl Street Mall is a four block pedestrian mall in Boulder, Colorado. The pedestrian area stretches from 11th Street to 15th Street along Pearl Street and is home to a number of businesses and restaurants as well as the Boulder County Courthouse.


Mork and Mindy House

A historic landmark where the late 1970’s sitcom Mork and Mindy was filmed. Close to the Pearl Street Mall and a beloved site to locals and tourists alike.

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

An eclectic mix of contemporary art from regional, national and international artists, plus dance, poetry, and other performances including an outdoor summer cinema series.

Andrews Arboretum

Established in 1948 by Maud Reed, a former botany teacher at Boulder High School, the Andrews Arboretum is a small, unique plant haven in Boulder. The arboretum is open daily and admission is free.

CU Heritage Center

The CU Heritage Center is located in Old Main, one of the oldest buildings on the Colorado University campus. Galleries house exhibits such as 19th-century student life, athletic trophies, and photos.


Mapleton Hill Historic Neighborhood

One of the oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods in Boulder, complete with tree-lined streets and late nineteenth century architectural style.

Other Places to Explore

University of Colorado Museum of Natural History
Fiske Planetarium
Avery Brewing
Shelby American Car Museum


Run Boulder this Summer with #FASTZach

Words and photos by professional runner, Neely Spence Gracey. Neely is an American long-distance runner who competes in distances from 5000 meters to the marathon. She lives and trains in Boulder, Co.

If you’re a runner, there is nowhere in the USA like Boulder, Colorado. Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder sits at 5,400ft above sea level and is a runner’s mecca. Hundreds of miles of trails, dirt roads, and cinder paths have been tread upon by pros, locals, and tourists alike. You will find it difficult to run solo for long!

Running brought me to Colorado as a kid when my dad was training for the Olympics. We lived in Boulder off and on until I was seven, and then moved permanently back to Pennsylvania upon my dad’s retirement from pro running. In college, two of my teammates and I came out to Boulder to house sit and try out altitude training. My husband (boyfriend at the time) surprised me with a visit, and we both fell in love with the area. Low humidity, sunshine, endless running venues, nice people, so much to do… we couldn’t get enough. We came back every year thereafter for a training stint and agreed that when the stars aligned, we would become Boulderites.

In 2015, my husband landed a job in Denver. We dropped everything and moved to start the life we had always envisioned. It’s the best thing we have ever done. I transitioned from track and shorter road races to the Half and Full Marathons and my career progressed. We bought a house, got a dog, and started adulting. My biggest fear was that once I lived in Boulder, I would no longer have the appreciation for how magical the mountains look each day. But after 3 plus years of being a resident, I can happily say, that it never gets old. I wish you a wonderful time in this beautiful place I call home.



Chautauqua – Endless trails for however short/long you desire. If you’re looking iconic boulder, this is the trail for you. Don’t forget to take your camera! If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even run up the path to the base of each Flatiron! Plan accordingly, because it gets very crowded and parking is limited. In the summertime, there is a bus system if you want to go up on the weekends. Stop by the café afterward for some tasty food and to admire the views.

Use this 5-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore the Chautauqua trails.

Doudy Draw – 7mile loop with a variety of footing and landscape. Starting just before the base of Eldorado Canyon, Doudy Draw provides a little bit of everything. Dirt trail in the prairie, switchbacks up the mountain, dirt roads, rocks, and nice views of the canyon. My all-time favorite run in Boulder. After you’ve had your fill, stop by Eldorado pool for a quick swim to cool off in the crisp spring water.

Use this 8-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore Doudy Draw.

Dirt roads


Magnolia – 8.5miles out, 17 miles total. This road is home to the infamous long run spot from Running with the Buffaloes. Driving up the Boulder Canyon, you will find Magnolia road on the left. Take it to the top, until the road turns to dirt. There is a pull off for parking. The run starts down a giant hill that, (lucky you) get to finish going up! Around 8,600ft elevation, and constant hills, there is no such thing as an easy run on Mags. Stop by Nederland for a coffee afterwards and to see a small Colorado mountain town.

Use this 20-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore Magnolia.

Boulder Res – 2-20miles with free parking at Tom Watson Park. There are bathrooms to use before you get started. Follow the trail to the left of the lake and then hug the edge until it opens up to a wide path. From there, you go straight towards the foothills onto dirt roads for as long as you want to go out before turning around and following your same route back to the beginning. If you do this route on Sunday morning, you will cross paths with hundreds of runners and cyclists. Complete your run with a day pass to the Boulder Reservoir for some beach time and a swim.

Use this 6-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore the Boulder Reservoir.

Cinder paths


Davidson Mesa 5k loops – The best views of Boulder County. Park at Harper Lake in Louisville, and run under the bridge. The trail around Davidson Mesa is 5k. Be sure to take your phone and snap pictures of the Flatirons, Boulder, and the back range. Grab a craft brew coffee at Precision Pours Coffeehouse and tell the Barista how far you ran for 25c off per 30minutes!

Bobolink – 3.5mi out, 7mi total. A great trail for an easy run. Flat, peaceful along the stream, and somewhat shady for hot days. Park at the Cherryvale/Baseline trailhead, and run south. Follow the stream the whole way. Finish up with some recovery by wading in the cool creek for a natural ice bath.

Exploring Hawaii with Totally Brain Dad

Words and photos by Ben Osborn, creator of Totally Brain Dad.

If you are lucky enough to visit Honolulu, you’ll be awed by the physical beauty, the food and vitality of Honolulu, and the Aloha spirit. Honolulu is Hawaii’s largest city and the #1 tourist destination in the state. It has something for everyone: beautiful beaches, mountain views, city bustle, quiet retreats, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, art, architecture and lots of history. If you’d like to explore paradise on foot, you can sample of all of that in one long run or in a few shorter outings. There is also a great bike share called “Biki” with stations around the city if you’d rather pedal. I’m by no means a local but I created a few easily accessible running routes for Honolulu with the help of the FASTZach app. So now you can see a bit more paradise in your miles!

You may have trouble pronouncing some of the street names or struggle to find street signs on every corner. No worries, friendly locals can get you back where you need to be. I got a bit off track running in Honolulu a few times but maybe I was just where I was supposed to be?

You never know what you’ll find when you “E hele aku a hele” (according to google translate that is “Get out and route”)!

Ben Osborne - Hawaii 1

Route 1: Waikiki

If you want the quintessential Honolulu run with a bit of a local twist, try this 5-mile loop that incorporates Waikiki, Kapiolani Park, and the Ala Wai Canal. You can start anywhere on Waikiki’s main drag, Kalakaua Avenue, and head toward Diamond Head. I started this route near the Waikiki Wall, to highlight a nice snorkeling spot in Waikiki.  You’ll love the shaded sidewalk between the beach and Kapiolani Park. The park hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, including the Honolulu Marathon finish line. As you loop the park there is an opportunity to extend the run another 3-4 miles toward Diamond Head and get some hill work, but this route loops Kapiolani Park and crosses over Kapahulu Avenue. Remember to swing back here to try some local eats. Plate lunches at Rainbow Drive-In, the kiawe grilled chicken at Mike’s Huli Chicken, or warm malasadas from Leonard’s Bakery… Kapahulu Avenue is Ono (delicious)!  

But eat later…..for now keep the run going along the Ala Wai canal. This canal was built in 1928 to drain the swamps, rice paddies, fish ponds, and other wetlands that used to occupy the Waikiki area. You may see locals paddling outrigger canoes in the canal but otherwise the water quality is not suitable for recreational uses…(do not swim here).  Enjoy the great views of the Ko’olau Mountains and the neighborhoods that rise into the foothills. As you come back to Kalakaua Avenue you’ll re-enter the hub of the Waikiki district and become immersed all the shopping, dining, hotels and beachfront ambiance that makes this area famous. There are too many options to really do the area justice but Maui Brewing Co has great beer and is a cool spot for happy hour.        

Route 2: Magic Island and Ala Moana Beach Park

For a different vibe head to Magic Island and Ala Moana Beach Park. This beachside park is less crowded than the famous Waikiki tourist mecca and it has a decidedly more local flavor. I used FASTZach to help create a 9-mile route that will show you a bit of everything Honolulu has to offer. In the park, you’ll see birthday parties, family gatherings, and plenty old men “talking story”.  The outermost paths make a 3-mile loop for runners and walkers. The reef and breakwater protected beaches provide great family swimming. You’ll see lap swimmers and stand up paddleboards here. This is a great starting point to see a different side of Honolulu.  

As you leave the park, you’ll pass Kewalo Basin Harbor and enter the up and coming Kaka’ako neighborhood.  Start by jumping into the quiet serenity of Kaka’ako Waterfront Park. There isn’t a swimming beach here but there is a largely shaded 1-mile loop that gives a totally different ocean view with a steep rocky shoreline that dives into deep indigo blue water.   Head left to make a clockwise loop, if you explore the oceanfront walkway all the way to the left you’ll find the Kewalo Marine Laboratory and an awesome vista of the harbors and beaches you just ran through with Diamond Head in the background.


After this zen excursion, cross Ala Moana Boulevard to explore the livelier part of Kaka’ako. If you are young and hip you’ll feel right at home, if you are like me you’ll feel younger and hipper just passing through. Condo towers are sprouting up in this former industrial area and artists have taken over. A variety of large colorful murals make this area a visual adventure. There are surprises around practically every corner and alley, it is well worth some time to explore beyond the route.


There are several places to quench your thirst in the area, the runner friendly Lanikai Juice hosts a free Thursday night run club. The everyone friendly Honolulu Beerworks has great beers, food and a casual vibe with games for kids and adults. But drink later, for now, cross back to the ocean side of Ala Moana Boulevard and prepare for to see a bit more of the working side of the city and some historical sites. As you head up Ala Moana you may see a giant Cruise Ship docked at the entry to the busy Honolulu Harbor. At piers 8-11 you’ll be able to run harbor side around the Aloha Tower marketplace to get a view of the harbor and the picturesque clocktower. If you’re paying attention you might get an Elvis sighting. There is a public restroom and drinking fountain available in the marketplace.

tower hawaii new

After you’ve snapped a selfie with the tower, crossover Ala Moana Boulevard onto the Fort Street Pedestrian mall to get a small sample of the main business district of Honolulu and with a side of architecture and history. A right on King St will bring you to the Statue of King Kamehameha, Iolani Palace, and probably the most unique State Capital building you’ll ever see. Return to the Palace to learn more about the history of Hawaii before it was a part of the United States.

After you loop around the palace cross back over King Street to run on the ocean side. That will make it easy take the Kapiolani Blvd split back toward the beach. Kapiolani has nice shade, a view of the mountains and a small glimpse of local life. Kapiolani will take you past the Runners Route store if you’d like any Aloha themed running gear. You’ll also pass the massive and luxurious Ala Moana Mall. Stop by Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha for delicious shave ice (think soft tropical snowcone). And finally, you’ll pass the beautiful Hawaii Convention Center before looping through the outskirts of Waikiki crossing the Ala Wai Canal and back to Magic Island.  Take a post run dip in the Magic Island Lagoon and celebrate how lucky you are to be in Hawaii.


If you are interested in getting a true local guide to help you get to know Honolulu, check out City Running Tours of Honolulu. These awesome people combine healthy activity with learning and adventure to explore gorgeous Honolulu. It’s a total “Winnah” (winner)!


Running the Red Line

Research, words, and photos by Seattle runner, Julia Reade.

In September of 2016 and December of 2017, two of Seattle’s most widely consumed journalism sources featured stories of the infamous Red Line. During this same time period, NPR covered the inherently discriminatory practice of redlining more broadly, detailing its racist incarnations in the U.S.’s most densely populated cities. Yet, despite a surge of media coverage, many Seattle residents and folks not well-versed its history remain unfamiliar with the deeply racist practices and policies that left North Seattle neighborhoods majority white and wealthy and those to the south of the Ship Canal generally non-white and hovering at or below the poverty line. Practices legally separating white and non-white residents into distinct neighborhoods first took the form of exclusionary language in deeds and racially restrictive covenants. Language, like that written into early 20th century deeds for properties in Queen Anne, banned non-Aryan residents from occupying land.

“No person or persons of Asiatic, African or Negro blood, lineage, or extraction shall be permitted to occupy a portion of said property.”

“This property shall not be resold, leased, rented, or occupied except to or by persons of the Aryan race.”



This overt, legal segregation fueled discriminatory lending practices in 1936, resulting in the quite literal redlining of the city’s maps, delineating the so-called “hazardous” neighborhoods. Once deemed hazardous, much of Seattle’s Central District and thus most of Seattle’s non-white residents, could not obtain bank loans or fell victim to sky-high interest rates. In 1959, Civil Rights activist launched the Seattle Open Housing Campaign. But it took almost ten years and momentum spurred by the death of Martin Luther King Jr. for City Council to pass an ordinance that forbade this practice and set the foundation for even broader equal housing legislation to come. Nevertheless, redlining continued well into the ‘70s.

Seattle is once again undergoing a massive shift in neighborhood demographics. Once home to 70% of the city’s black population, the Central District has been transformed–”whitewashed”– by gentrification and in the name of progress. Black home and business owners, with deep roots in the community, fight to keep their homes amidst rapidly rising property values and developers’ insatiable appetite to meet the housing demands of more affluent buyers. Consequently, a history, a culture, a community are being erased, displaced and demolished to make way for concrete cubes, apartments, white-owned pot shops, and hipster joints. With them is disappearing the visible reminder of Seattle’s history of legal racial segregation.

This past February Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry offered walkers and cyclists the chance to walk or ride the Red Line. Spearheaded by Seattle resident Merlin Rainwater, the family-friendly walk and ride highlighted “the lingering physical impacts of redlining in our city.” Building on Merlin’s efforts to preserve and make palpable segregated Seattle, I tediously mapped a running version using a high-resolution copy of the 1936 redlining map. Thankfully, many of the streets still exist both in name and location, which aided my quest to map a route nearly identical to the original red line.

Mapping the route–memorializing the Red Line in a way that commands engagement with its racist history–was my impetus for undertaking this project. Breaking the 11-mile route in halves, I set off on foot with two goals: one, test the feasibility of the route, and, two, observe.


But observe what? I know this city like the back of my hand, so I can visualize the path of the red line without running it. Unable to answer this question, I decided to let the experience define my “data collection.” While running, I found myself drawn to the juxtaposition of original structures and new construction not just architecturally but as symbolic of forced cultural assimilation inherent in “whitewashing.” I took pictures of street signs, commerce, and industry. I traced the layers of Seattle’s history in the stratification of its infrastructure: a base of red brick, a layer of concrete, a top coat of asphalt. The absence of POC-owned business the further south I ran, historic homes slated for demolition, the thick traffic–I’d only ever experienced these hallmarks of “progress” in isolation. Strung together as a series of stops along the red line, though, they weighed on me. How they came to be, their impermanence, the cultural erasure committed through their eradication.


Between the massive elevation gain and heavy significance of the route, I left my runs of the red line exhausted and sore. Yet, these emotions seemed fitting, for they induced discomfort.

When confronting manifestations of racism and white supremacy, feeling uncomfortable keeps at bay the complacency cultivated by a state of comfort. Running Seattle’s red line hurts; it empties the lungs of oxygen, recruits those sleepy, hill-charging muscles, and negates the commonly held belief that gentrification within the boundaries of the red line honors the pre-existing communities.

This route and the activity of running it are a lasting reminder of Seattle’s racist history, lest it be construed as a purely progressive city. I encourage you to get uncomfortable, and #runtheredline. Use this 11-Mile Red Line Route created with the FASTZach app to explore Seattle’s history.


Top Running Routes in Seattle

Words and photos by Seattle runner, Lynn Carlson.

Seattle is known for being an outdoor lover’s mecca and a foodie’s 5-star yelp review waiting to be posted. There are countless routes to run, places to dine, freshly roasted coffee to drink, and breweries to check out. Don’t let the array of choices intimidate you; as luck would have it, Seattle culture encourages these staples to intertwine and coexist together, making it the perfect place for a runcation.

Summer in Seattle is a runner’s dream filled with hours of daylight and possibility. The fall season gently coaxes us into the reality of the long months that will follow. Yes, winter here can be cruel. This is when the city lives up to its well-known stereotype – blankets of rain and grey-on-grey hues that will last throughout the spring.  

Although calloused clouds and abrasive winds try to defend their winter claim into April, you’ll still see an army of runners emerge day after day. This coalition contrasts the monotony of the skies, painting it with their splashes of blue, yellow, and pink windbreakers. Stride by stride they rebel against the forecast; spring training has started…Where are they going?

From the magical old growth forest trails pocketed throughout the city to paved paths showcasing views of the Olympic mountains along the waterfront… Below are popular destinations rain or shine for the weatherproof runner.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Elliot Bay Trail – up to 8 miles as an out and back

This waterfront trail is located close to unique tourist attractions such as Pike Place Market and the sculpture garden, allowing you to get in your run and explore shortly after. On a clear day, you’ll have views of the Olympic Mountain Range and Mt. Rainer. No matter what the weather is like, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for seals! I just spotted 6 on a recent run.  

Use this 6-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore the Elliot Bay Trail.


Green Lake Loop – 3 miles

This classic & very busy Seattle loop is a staple in the running community. It is the perfect length for a recovery run or multiple loops for a speed workout. If you’re feeling extra competitive, check if a 5K is overlapping with your visit. If so, you will most likely toe the line against a stacked field of Brooks Beasts and Oiselle elites!

Protip: The outer loop, although gravel vs. paved, is much quieter than the inner loop.

Use this 3-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore Green Lake.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetDiscovery Park – 2.8 miles on the Loop Trail or 5ish miles Loop Trail + South Beach

Discovery Park is located in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood and includes miles of singletrack techy trails as well as wide and smooth paths, making it the perfect option for trail runners of all abilities. Regardless of running long or short, relatively flat or with plenty of climbing, you will have incredible views of the sound, Cascade Mountains, and the Olympic Mountains when you reach the bluff overlook!

Protip: Check out Seven Hills Running Shop for a vast selection of trail-specific gear!!  

Use this 4.5-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore Discovery Park.

54cc8188-f29c-44ee-984f-fd2aa2bbe034.jpgLincoln Park – Up to 20 as an out and back

West Seattle is located slightly outside of the downtown area, but don’t let that stop you from getting in an awesome long run! This route boasts of nonstop waterfront views, minimal hills, and multiple water fountains! I recommend parking at Lincoln Park, which will allow you to run up to 20 miles as a straight out and back.  

Protip: Make sure to check out Marination Mai Kai before you leave! Just thinking of their Hawaiian-Korean breakfast burritos, Kimchi fried rice, & local beer has become one of my go-to long run mantras. “Beer and burritos, beer and burritos..” Enjoy!

Use this 18-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore Lincoln Park.

Springtime in Portland

Photo credit Bobby Rivera / @mr_bobbyrivera
Photo credit: Bobby Rivera / @mr_bobbyrivera

It’s no coincidence that Oregon is home to some of the grittiest competitors out there, from New York City Marathon winner Shalane Flanagan, to prodigy-turned-pro Jordan Hasay, to 800m standout Kate Grace. While Nike may be one obvious factor linking these athletes, they share something else in common: training year round in Portland.

Running through winter in Rose City often leaves me wondering, “Why in the world do I live here?” The days are dark and gloomy, the rain is never-ending, and my motivation is almost always at a low. The months drag on, and every drenched pair of shoes, battery replaced in my headlamp, and yet another pre-dawn Strava entry are my badges of honor through it all.

Then every March the cherry blossoms begin to bud, marking the beginning of the spring racing season. The popular Shamrock Run is just around the corner, and I think of all the hard work I put in and wonder if my Oregonian competitors were as relentless. It’s evident in the race results year after year – of course, they were! Unlike much of the US, we don’t have to deal with blizzards or below-freezing temps bringing everything to a halt (oh wait, except for that one time). There are no off days unless you say so. You either put in the work or you don’t, and that’s what I love about running in Oregon.

If you happen to visit Portland–and I’d recommend doing so in our finest months of June, July, and August–you absolutely must run to these spots:


Duniway City Park – Home to my favorite community track in all of Portland, set among lush fir trees and the nearby lilac garden. I’ve run countless workouts here, and don’t be surprised if you bump into local elites and Olympians getting theirs in too. Shameless plug, it will also be home to the inaugural all-comers Rose City Mile on June 30th!

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 2.07.38 PM

International Rose Test Garden – Start from downtown Portland and plug this landmark into your FASTZach app. You’ll get in a couple grueling uphill miles but will be rewarded at the top with a garden full of more roses than you’ve ever seen in your life!

Use this 5-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore the International Rose Test Garden.


Leif Erikson Trail – I like to dub this trail the Long Run Promenade, as it seems most of Portland’s running community makes their pilgrimage to its trailhead on NW Thurman St. every Sunday to log their double-digit miles. It’s easy to see why–it’s a simple out-and-back stretching on for 22 miles with markers every quarter mile. The scenery is absolutely beautiful as you’re surrounded by the trees of Forest Park the entire way. I also can’t help but make a stop at Spielman Bagel on NW Lovejoy on my way home for their Bacon, Jam, & Arugula on Poppyseed.

Use this 10-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore Forest Park and Liz’s favorite bagel shop.


Sauvie Island – A 20-minute drive north of Portland, Sauvie Island is runner/cyclist heaven! It has a flat, paved 12-mile loop on country roads which also serves as Foot Traffic’s annual Flat Marathon and Half. You’ll get treated to sweeping views of farms, marshes, the foothills of Forest Park to the west, and on a clear day, an amazing view of Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens to the east.

Use this 12-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore Sauvie Island.


About the Author:
Liz Anjos is a musician and distance runner from Portland, Oregon. She writes on all things training and racing at Running Liz and is the co-founder of Rose City Track Club.

#RunPhilly with these 3 Routes


Philadelphia is home to some of the most historic and iconic sights and routes in the country. From the Liberty Bell to City Hall to the famous Museum of Art steps, there are few cities with more places to sightsee and run than in Philadelphia. In fact, the city’s park system is one of the oldest and biggest in the nation. It consists of 63 parks covering 9,200 acres; the primary park, Fairmount Park, spans more than 4,100 acres!

Whether you’re looking for scenic routes along the Schuylkill River or hoping to recreate your own Rocky Balboa moment, FASTZach allows you to explore all 141.7 square miles of the city (and beyond!)

There’s no shortage of great running routes in the City of Brotherly Love. Check out these three fantastic running routes in Philly – taken from our very own, FASTZach app. They’re great for a shakeout, workout, or leisurely sight-seeing adventure. Enjoy!

3 Philadelphia Running Routes by FASTZach

Philadelphia Museum of Art  – 6 miles

(View route and link to app)

Relive the glory of Rocky Balboa with this famous 6-mile route! Run along the Schuylkill River, past the iconic Boathouse Row, and up the famous Philadelphia Musem of Art steps just like Rocky – don’t forget to yell out to Adrian! 

Radnor Trail – 5.7 miles

(View route and link to app)

Radnor Trail is a 2.4-mile trail on the outskirts of Philadelphia located in Wayne, PA. The trail is safe, nicely shaded by trees, and has a gravel side option for extra width. This 5.7-mile route takes runners on a scenic loop to and from the trailhead with the option to add more distance.

Fairmount Park – 10 Miles

(View route and link to app)

Fairmount Park is the largest park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (and the largest landscaped urban park in the world!) The park consists of two sections named East Park and West Park, divided by the Schuylkill River, with the two sections together totaling 2,052 acres! This scenic 10-mile route takes runners along the Schuylkill River and around East Park with plenty of iconic Philadelphia sights along the way.

Remember, there’s always somewhere new to explore – no matter where you’re running! #GETOUTANDROUTE!